VIENTIANE, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Lao Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath told the National Assembly that inspection teams have completed checks on 20 dams with another 50 yet to be carried out, and the teams plan to finish their work at all dams by 2021.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines is working with foreign experts and international organizations to keep a tab on the functioning of hydropower dams across the country, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Tuesday.
The ministry has decided to carry out periodic checks to ensure that the highest standards are being maintained at the dams as required by law. The targeted dams include those that are operating and also others under construction.
The inspections come after the country witnessed collapses of two dams in the past two years. A small dam, the Nam Ao hydropower plant in Xieng Khuang province, collapsed last year and a saddle dam at the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy hydropower plant collapsed on July 23 in Sanamxay district, Attapeu province.
The minister said the ministry will select investors and developers more carefully in the future, checking expertise of investors, the technology and skills on offer and the funds at their disposal before issuing licences.